Fear and the Art of Mountain Climbing

I live on the right side, I sleep in the leftThat’s why everything’s got to be love or death. Yes, this fear's got a hold on me.

-Death by the White Lies

I've got a bunch of projects on the go. Projects that seem so fucking big when I take a minute to stop and think about them. And that's when the fear kicks in. Over the years, it's gotten better because I've started to recognize it for what it is.

It's like deciding to climb a mountain for the first time. At first, you're so excited because the thought of conquering a mountain is unbelievably appealing. You picture yourself at the top, smile on your face, hands on your hips, superhero cape floating in the wind... Because you did it! You beat the mountain!

If you're ambitious enough, that image and the joy it gives you gets you going. You're excited. You make plans. It's going to be fun! You start telling people about the mountain and researching the mountain on the internet.

And then perhaps the comments start pouring in: "Wow! You're going to climb that? That's going to be hard." or "Good luck with that. Other people have tried to climb the mountain before and they didn't make it. But you know, you can probably do it."

And in your research you find out how big the mountain ACTUALLY is. And how much work you're going to have to do to get ready. And maybe it's going to cost a lot more than you thought it would. Maybe there are more regulations and hoops to jump through first. The path might not be clear and you think Goddamn it! Why do I have to be the one to go up first? Why do I have to lead?

So you get scared. That anxious, breath stuck in your throat, tears welling up in your eyes, what the fuck am I doing kind of scared.

I feel that way a lot. It's brief, but always intense. I panic because there is a giant fucking mountain looming in front of me. But when I breathe through it, and remember to just take it one step at a time, it gets better.

It also helps that I have been gathering a better support network around me. A team. An A-Team. The confidence to build and lead a team is very new to me. I need to remember to use it when I need it.

Let's move mountains, shall we?

When literal & figurative mountains collide: Grouse Grind in September anyone?